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More good news for housing

by mel starrs on March 2, 2007

in Uncategorized

The press release reads:

At a time when demand for housing outstrips supply, the change to build better homes more cheaply and efficiently using modern approaches to construction is essential, according to a new joint Housing Corporation and English Partnerships publication.

Launched today (Thursday 1 March 2007) and referred to in Housing Minister Yvette Cooper’s speech at the Regenex conference in London, Modern talking: Building better value homes using modern approaches illustrates how the construction revolution is gathering pace, driven by housing associations and private developers who have risen to the modern approaches challenge.

The publication highlights how last year 41% of affordable homes were built using modern approaches, against a government target of 25%.  For home buyers, this means that more high quality properties are available.  For housing associations and house builders, it means that more homes can be built for the same money.

Demonstrating how housing providers have used modern approaches to construction to build new homes more quickly then ever, the publication:

• shows how housing associations have cut their costs as a result;

• offers advice on how to approach building using new construction methods and how to avoid unnecessary expense;

• illustrates, via case studies, how new homes built using modern approaches are bigger, better, lighter and brighter than those built using conventional construction techniques.

Housing Corporation Chairman, Peter Dixon, said, “Modern Talking is a fantastic testament to the work of affordable housing providers and their ability to respond to the challenge to build better, cheaper homes using modern approaches to construction.

“The challenge now is to build upon this experience further and embed the best of modern practice into the mainstream.  I have every confidence that the affordable housing sector will achieve this and continue to be at the cutting edge of efficient methods of construction.

“This publication also symbolises the increased joint working between English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation ahead of the creation of Communities England.”

The publication can be found here (pdf, 40 pages) and contains plenty of examples of successful MMC (modern methods of construction) which don’t include CASPAR.  One such is Corbett House in Camberwell, which used Buma.  Some interesting observations on using an MMC system established in a foreign country (in this case Poland) – for instance offsetting costs of import against cheaper labour.  Interestingly, the system only claims a ‘good’ ecohomes rating (EcoHomes ratings are dependent on location and other factors – I’m not sure if this claim is for the energy and fabric related clauses alone?).